Review – Impaler Volume 2 Trade Paperback

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Vampire comics (and really vampire stories in general) either work really well, or are utter rubbish (*cough* glitter *cough*).  Impaler Volume 2 Trade Paperback is one of those that works really well.  While you don’t need to read the first volume (I didn’t), it’d definitely help.

International Horror Guild Award finalist William Harms (Wolverine: The Anniversary) returns to his bold new re-imagining of the vampire mythos with a second volume!

Millions of vampires have descended upon America. In a desperate attempt to defeat them, the US military nuked New York City. Unfortunately, it was too little, too late. The legendary vampire HUNTER, Vlad the Impaler, has returned to stop them, and NYC Detective Victor Dailey has become his unwilling companion. Joining Harms for this volume is up-and-coming painter Matt Timson (Popgun).

Collects Impaler Vol. 2 #1-5 plus a cover gallery and bonus material.

William Harms follows Vlad the Impaler and Victor Dailey in their battle against a vampire plague infected the eastern seaboard of the United States.  The story focuses on a couple of different points that converge a bit.  You have Vlad and Dailey and their travels, a group of soldiers in Washington DC and Philadelphia and one of the soldier’s family and their fleeing of their home.

We get to see three aspects of how people would react to such dire circumstances and it works really well.  There’s a horror aspect to this comic, but also a great focus on the reaction of the characters.  There’s a similar feel to World War Z if you’ve read that amazing book and both work for similar reasons.

If you’re a fan of vampires or horror, this is definitely a collection worth checking out.

Plot: William Harms has put together an awesome second chapter to his tale.  The volume works well on it’s own but I’m sure it’d be even better if you’re familiar with the first volume.  The story focuses exactly where it needs to and gives you the big picture as to what’s going on and how people react to the situation.  There’s the horror aspect and some action, but the best parts are the quieter moments where two characters just talk.  The action is good, but the quieter moments are where the comic shines.  Rating: 8.5

Art: Matt Timson’s art is really good.  There are moments where it falls into the “too dark to tell what’s going on” trap, but it’s really solid and even in those moments it works really well.  The mood is caught perfectly and the amount of detail is top notch.  During the Washington DC scenes I quickly recognized the area’s the soldiers were in and the art was pretty on.  Top notch work.  Rating: 8.5

Overall:  I’m new to Impaler and had no issue following what was going on in the second volume.  In fact I enjoyed it so much I want to read the first volume (especially if it’s the same quality).  If you like vampires, horror comics or war stories, this is a comic for you.  I highly recommend it.  Overall rating: 8.5

Recommendation: Buy

Page count: 160 pages    Price: $14.95    Release Date: 8/4/2010

Top Cow provided Graphic Policy with an advance copy of this issue for FREE for review.